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Thursday, August 4, 2016
A call for help (chapter 7)
August 21, 2010
The next morning I am full of dread. Acid churns in my stomach and I wander restlessly from room to room, unable to do anything for more than a minute, as I wait for my daily call from Dr. S.
When he does call, he introduces me to the notion of dissociation. I am not quite sure what it means at the time, but I grasp that it has to do with how Scott, who had been making such good progress, slipped back into psychosis and denying the reality of the world when confronted with the bad news of not returning to college.
Dr. S. actually questions out loud whether Scott might remain in this dissociative state we have pushed him into, but then reassures himself that the medication will give him the scaffolding to hold on to reality. Great. I love it when a doc has a dialog with himself that results in scaring the pants off you.
I am alone in the house. Chuck had to go to work to keep his business up and running and my older son Justin was over at a friend’s house. Scott’s hospitalization was very hard on Justin, and he dealt with it by not really dealing with it. The movie ‘Shutter Island’ was fresh on everyone’s mind that summer, and Justin said that the grounds and buildings of the New York Presbyterian hospital remind him exactly of Shutter Island.
I decide to go for a hike in the woods. We can do that just by walking off the back of our property. I always take my hiking buddy, our gorgeous loving German Short Haired Pointer with me when I go. He is of course blissfully unaware of everything that is unfolding but is always on hand for a hug and is happy to lay with his head on my lap for hours at a time, if only I would let him.
Our house abuts 100 acres of woods so we have lots of good trails. The hike is aerobic since it goes up and down hills and soon I have my heart beating fast. My goal is to try to create some endorphins through exercise. I believe I succeeded. I resolve to put aside the soul-consuming fear that Scott would disintegrate permanently into a dissociative state. I also resolve to call upon the spirits of passed family members for help.
Oh boy - this is the part where she has a complete meltdown, you are thinking now.
Call it the edge of insanity, call it enlightenment, call it desperation, or call it an exercise high, but in my mind I reach out to my Nana who had passed away at the age of 101 and my father who died 9 years earlier and had been a great pal of Scott’s. I ask their spirits for help, to come to the aid of his wandering mind and to bring him back to his senses. I was not sure where Scott’s mind went when it wandered away but I thought maybe they might have better luck getting the two them reunited. With this call for help, I feel reasonably functional and somewhat optimistic.
No sooner am I back at the house on that beautiful August day that a bird flies into one of our windowed walls. It makes a loud thumping sound, and I worry that it injured itself. The other part of my brain thinks: Nana or Pappa, acknowledging my call. I walk over to the window to ensure there isn’t an injured bird on the ground. Not seeing one, I turn and start to walk towards the stairs to get changed and ready for visiting hours. As I am turning, another bird hits a different window with a second loud thump. Second spirit, reporting for duty, I think.
Yes, I suppose I truly am nuts at that point, but in my heart I am really glad to have them onboard.